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  1. #1
    mwelsh's Avatar
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    First Rangefinder

    I've been in gear acquisition mode for awhile now and lately a lot of cool cameras have been coming up for sale here. I don't buy'em if I can't get them reasonably priced because there's no guarantee I will get my money back.
    The other day I got my first rangefinder camera. Its a kodak retina IIa. Its in mint condition with normal signs of wear. Well looked after. the rangefinder works as tonight i got some instruction on how to use it. Along with the camera came a sekonic auto lumi model 86 light meter - also working.
    The whole package camera and meter for $25.00 Cdn. Pretty cool.
    Everything seems to function normal. Had a problem rewinding first film. Will have to figure that out.
    Its a heavy little beast but I'm liking it and I think it will become my daily shooter for awhile while I wait to change light seals in my canon F1.

  2. #2

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    First off, if it has wear, then it's not mint. Mint means "as new." OK, now that I'm finished with that rant, on to the camera.

    You got a great deal on the camera.

    Make sure the film counter works. And if you remove the top deck, be careful when you replace the frame counter. It's very easy to break that small semi-circular spring, and if that happens, the frame counter will no longer work.

    If this is the lever wind IIa, then you have a very nice camera. I think these came with either an f/2.0 Schneider or Rodenstock lens.

  3. #3
    mwelsh's Avatar
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    now i know what mint means. lol. everything is working. the counter works. I have to develop the film I shot with it to check the sharpness. It is the f2 schneider. Suppose to be pretty sharp.

  4. #4
    guitstik's Avatar
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    This is a great camera, I have a Ia which is not a RF but it is a beautiful camera that takes awesome pictures. Have fun with the camera and be careful of the dreaded GAS. Oh, and by the way, welcome to APUG.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  5. #5

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    I have a couple of retinas, a !b and a 11, which is nob wind, and also has a rangefinder, the 11 I have has a small lever on the front marked advance and rewind, and my 1b has the normal push button on the bottom,for rewind, yours should have 1 or the other, they are great cameras and take great photos, if you have a lever wind treat it very gently as the cocking rack is a weakness in these cameras and it is easy to strip the teath of of it and that could mean sending it to Chris Sherlock in NZ, apart from that enjoy it it is a great shooter,Richard

  6. #6

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    You should be able to get some great shots with that camera.

    Kodak had an annoying habit of reusing certain models numbers. For example, there are four different Retina II cameras, and at least two Retina IIa -- one with knob wind and the other with level wind.

    Here's my own Retina IIa:



    The f/2.0 Schneider Xenon lens is quite good. It's single-coated, and it's not unusual to have to clean all of the glass surfaces. After all, these cameras are from the 1950s. For those that have sat unused for decades, most should be serviced.

    Good luck with the Retina -- you should be able to have a lot of fun with it.

  7. #7

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    Congrats! I picked up a IIIc (little c) recently that I stumbled across at an antique store. I remembered hearing this cameras were nice but I was still stunned by the negatives. The compact size is also great - I often throw the Retina in a bag with another camera as either a backup or a 35mm camera to go with a medium format camera.

  8. #8

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    Remove Top on Ia

    I have a Ia that needs the viewfinder cleaned and the question I have is it possible to get the top off without disturbing the film lever as the spring and things as will it come off ion one piece lay asida and put back on or Will I have to take the lever apart and and then reassemble it when putting top back?
    Thanks
    Den

  9. #9
    brian d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elekm View Post

    Make sure the film counter works. And if you remove the top deck, be careful when you replace the frame counter. It's very easy to break that small semi-circular spring, and if that happens, the frame counter will no longer work.

    If this is the lever wind IIa, then you have a very nice camera. I think these came with either an f/2.0 Schneider or Rodenstock lens.
    YEAH...mine had been exposed to dampness or something,the numbers that were exposed are not readable and the spring was degraded so bad it snapped like a twig. With the schneider lens it does still take very nice pictures though
    Real men use Speed Graphics and flashbulbs.

  10. #10

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    There's a whole lot of very useful information about Retinas on Karen Nakamura's site:
    http://www.photoethnography.com/Clas...dakRetina.html

    Have fun.I have a little IIIc and it's great.

    Morry Katz - Lethbridge, Alberta



 

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